Meaning of COMPOUND in English


noun , adjective , verb

■ noun / ˈkɒmpaʊnd; NAmE ˈkɑːm-/


a thing consisting of two or more separate things combined together


( chemistry ) a substance formed by a chemical reaction of two or more elements in fixed amounts relative to each other :

Common salt is a compound of sodium and chlorine.

—compare element , mixture


( grammar ) a noun, an adjective or a verb made of two or more words or parts of words, written as one or more words, or joined by a hyphen. Travel agent , dark-haired and bathroom are all compounds.


an area surrounded by a fence or wall in which a factory or other group of buildings stands :

a prison compound

■ adjective

/ˈkɒmpaʊnd; NAmE ˈkɑːm-/ [ not before noun ] ( technical ) formed of two or more parts :

a compound adjective, such as fair-skinned

A compound sentence contains two or more clauses.

the compound eye of a wasp

■ verb / kəmˈpaʊnd/ [ vn ]


[ often passive ] to make sth bad become even worse by causing further damage or problems :

The problems were compounded by severe food shortages.


be compounded of / from sth ( formal ) to be formed from sth :

The DNA molecule is compounded from many smaller molecules.


[ often passive ] ( formal or technical ) to mix sth together :

liquid soaps compounded with disinfectant


( finance ) to pay or charge interest on an amount of money that includes any interest already earned or charged



noun senses 1 to 3 and verb adjective late Middle English compoune (verb), from Old French compoun- , present tense stem of compondre , from Latin componere put together. The final -d was added in the 16th cent. on the pattern of expound and propound .

noun sense 4 late 17th cent. (referring to such an area in SE Asia): from Portuguese campon or Dutch kampoeng , from Malay kampong enclosure, hamlet.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.